Indian Claims Commission Materials

Background: The Indian Claims Commission was created by the Act of August 13, 1946 (60 Stat. 1050, 25 USC 70a et seq.) to hear claims of 'any Indian tribe, band, or other identifiable group of American Indians' against the United States. The Act provides broad grounds for recovery, including claims based on 'unconscionable consideration' for tribal lands which were taken and 'claims based on fair and honorable dealing not recognized by any existing rule of law or equity.'" (From the Index to Indian Claims Commission Decisions.)

Claims not settled after 1978 were transferred to the Court of Claims.

Commission opinions:

NARF published the 43-volume set, Indian Claims Commission Decisions (1946-1978).

Indexes to the cases and decisions:

  • In 1973, NARF published the Index to the Indian Claims Commission Decisions that covered cases from 1948-1973. It organizes cases by docket number, subject, and alphabetically by tribe.
  • In 1976, it completed a supplement that covered cases from 1973-1976. (Download a copy of the original index and the 1976 supplement.)
  • More recently the library created a database of the remaining cases (1976-1978) and, in 2009, created a final supplement to the original index. (Download the 2009 supplement here.)
  • Indexes and full-text searching available via fee-based ProQuest Indian Claims Insight.

Indexes to testimony and expert witnesses:

  • The library has numerous indexes to the decisions and other materials, such as testimony. Click here to see ICC-related materials in the library's catalog.
  • Available via fee-based ProQuest Indian Claims Insight

Briefs and court hearings materials:

These are available through some law school libraries and are known by the following titles:

  • Available via fee-based ProQuest Indian Claims Insight
  • Briefs submitted to the Indian Claims Commission [microform] : including petitions, proposed findings of fact, and answers - New York : Clearwater Pub. Co., 1973-
  • Indian Claims Commission Supplement
  • Indian Claims Commission Expert Testimony (this is the name of a series of testimony materials)
  • Indian Claims Commission Testimony Supplement 1
  • Indian Claims Commission Testimony Supplement 2

Reports by the ICC:

Maps related to the ICC:

  • Map and index : Indian land areas judicially established : part of the final report of the United States Indian Claims Commission.
  • Available via fee-based ProQuest Indian Claims Insight

Records of the Indian Claims Commission:

  • Record Group 279 at the National Archives contains ICC materials, including Administrative History, General Records 1946-1978, Case Files 1946-1983 and Cartographic Records.

Related materials :

Their day in court : a history of the Indian Claims Commission / H.D. Rosenthal; New York, NY : Garland Publishing Inc., 1990.

Irredeemable America : the Indians' estate and land claims / edited by Imre Sutton. Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, Institute for Native American Studies, University of New Mexico, 1985.

ICC ethnological reports for various tribes can be found at participating libraries using Worldcat -- search by author (au:United States. Indian Claims Commission) and/or tribe.

Last updated 12/31/14

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